In a bid to enhance its mobile and digital offerings pan India, telecom major Bharti Airtel has announced to have acquired 355.45 MHz spectrum across Sub GHz, mid-band and 2m300 MHz bands for a total consideration of Rs 18,699 crore in the latest spectrum auction conducted by the department of Telecommunications (DoT).
The company claims to have improved its mid-band and capacity spectrum holdings with the latest acquisition and this will help it provide an exceptional customer experience at marginal capex through this auction, which is also likely to push through the company's plan to roll out 5G services in future.
According to a company statement, the acquisition has given Airtel the most formidable spectrum holdings in the country. “Airtel has now secured a pan-India footprint of Sub GHz spectrum that will help improve its deep indoor and in-building coverage in every urban town,” the company said.
The newly added spectrum will also help the company to improve its coverage in villages by offering the superior Airtel experience to an additional 90 million customers in India.
“Airtel now has a solid spectrum portfolio that will enable it to continue delivering the best mobile broadband experience in India. We are most excited at bringing the power of Airtel services to an additional 90 million customers in India through the power of our Pan India Sub GHz footprint,” Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel said in a statement.
According to the company sources, despite a large amount of spectrum made available, the 700 MHz band did not get any bid from the operators as it made no economic case for them based on the high reserve prices.
“The 700 MHz band coupled with the 3.5 GHz band has the potential to accelerate India's progress to the top league of digitally enabled nations. Therefore, the reserve pricing of these bands must be addressed on priority in future,” the company said.
This will help the nation to benefit from the digital dividend that will inevitably arise out of this, the telco said.